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When the Duke Returns Audiobook, by Eloisa James Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Eloisa James Narrator: Susan Duerden Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Series: The Desperate Duchesses Series Release Date: September 2012 ISBN: 9780062252791
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (2,524 ratings) (rate this audio book)
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The Duchess of Cosway yearns for a man she has never met . . . her husband.

Married by proxy as a child, Lady Isidore has spent years fending off lecherous men in every European court while waiting to meet her husband. She's determined to accept him, no matter how unattractive the duke turns out to be. When she finally lures Simeon Jermyn back to London, his dark handsomeness puts Isidore's worst fears to rest—until disaster strikes.

The duke demands an annulment.

Forsaking his adventuresome past, Simeon has returned to London ready to embrace the life of a proper duke, only to find that his supposed wife is too ravishing, too headstrong, and too sensual to be the docile duchess he has in mind. But Isidore will not give up her claim to the title—or him—without a fight.

She will do whatever it takes to capture Simeon's heart, even if it means sacrificing her virtue. After all, a consummated marriage cannot be annulled.

Yet in forcing Simeon into a delicious surrender, will Isidore risk not only her dignity—but her heart?

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Quotes & Awards

  • “James puts a clever spin on a classic romantic plot in the latest scintillating installment in her superbly entertaining Georgian-era Desperate Duchesses series, once again beguiling readers with wonderfully original characters, wickedly witty writing, and lusciously sexy romance.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “Values, cultures, and conduct clash in this intense, electric romance as two disparate people learn the real meaning of love. James has given readers another smart, bawdy Georgian tale.”

    Library Journal

  • “James is brilliant!…she also writes about claiming a marriage, building trust, kindling love and igniting passion with such power that readers will believe that with love, anything is possible.”

    RT Book Reviews

  • When the Duke Returns is full of fun, romance, passion, and the unique (case in point: the drains). Though the different titles all stand alone, true historical romance lovers won't want to miss this series.”

    Romance Reviews Today

Listener Reviews

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  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jessica | 2/5/2014

    " this has to be one of my favorite historical romances ever! i have reread this book a dozen times and it still pulls me in everytime! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marla | 2/2/2014

    " I love these people!!! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jenn | 2/1/2014

    " I've read at least one other of these Desperate Duchesses books. I'd rather read series in order, even when it doesn't make a lot of difference, but as I don't care to actually own these books, I don't want to pay a lot for them. So I've stuck myself with getting them at either the library or used book stores. But Some of them I just can't find. So here we are. I get that they're doing a running thing with Jemma through them all, but reading them out of order's gonna make that irritating. But those party felt so disjointed from the rest of the story. Isidore and Gemma weren't together very often, so it felt weird. I had a hard time understanding the deal between Isidore and Cosway. His issues seemed incredibly stupid and they were both reluctant to talk about their issues in a way that seems extreme, even for the time period. For instance, they want a code word that he can say when it's life-threateningly important that she follow his orders? Um, why can't you just say, "This is life-threateningly important!"? Their whole story was kinda annoying. But the novelty of them both being virgins and just figuring out each other's bodies was a nice change from most of these stories. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kerste | 1/31/2014

    " I used to read (and enjoy) a lot of historical romance, but I think it may be entirely possible (considering how prolific this author is) that I have read too much urban fantasy and paranormal romance because overall, this story seems like it should have been interesting, however, I just could not get into it. I read it to the "bitter" end, which of course was a very simplistic HEA, but it was not my cup of tea. I didn't really like any of the characters. I thought they were all silly, their POV and concerns were so...uninteresting. And again, this may be because all the books I've read in the past 4 months...someone's LIFE has been at stake, not just someone worrying about being heard or liked or respected. Sigh. The whole "restraint" of the hero was not appealing to me and his final "unleashing" was entirely too tame for me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kit | 1/29/2014

    " I enjoyed this fast paced story of the reluctant Duke and his faithfull perky and lovely proxy Duchess. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Janga | 1/27/2014

    " James creates one of her best heroes in this book, and she offers more tantalizing glimpses of the Jemma-Elijah relationship. Meanwhile, Villiers just gets more and more intriguing. I loved this one! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Melissa | 1/25/2014

    " Good central premise - if you're proxy married as children and haven't seen one another since, how does a couple go about getting to know one another, if they even want to at all - and nice ending. However, Isidore and Simeon's story felt more like a stop-gap measure to allow Jemma and Elijah's relationship more time to repair itself. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dreamer | 1/23/2014

    " Typical bodice-ripper on loan from the library.. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Linda | 1/17/2014

    " Not your usual Regency novel. Two women, both with marital issues, one has waited for twelwe years for her groom and the other is trying to salvage the old love. A lot of heartwrench and angst combined with smut and laugh. 3,5 Stars "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Chris | 10/8/2013

    " I suppose every romance novel has to have a harridan mother (-in-law) and an epilogue filled with babies for it to be a proper romance novel. Unfortunately. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nukia | 9/15/2013

    " Again, it's Eloisa James. Her womam are always strong. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marti | 7/30/2013

    " Love Eloise's books. I think it is funny that some people are soooo full of themselves.... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kelasher | 4/9/2013

    " Things are not looking good for Jemma though . . . "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rachel | 1/19/2013

    " Love, love, love this book!!! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Barbara | 12/24/2012

    " Hard to say if I liked this one or the last one in the series best. Have this one on Audible and will listen to it often (for a while), but I find the voice for Isidore somewhat annoying. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jill | 12/16/2012

    " Not the best one in this series, but not the worst, either. I did enjoy both of these characters, however, and the storyline was fun. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Virginia | 10/19/2012

    " I felt like the characters in this book were both a little wimpy, but otherwise I enjoyed it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Celeste | 9/4/2012

    " The only romance novel I have ever read in which the hero is a virgin. "

About the Author

Eloisa James, a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, wrote her first novel after graduating from Harvard, but alas, it was rejected by every possible publisher. After she got an MPhil from Oxford, a PhD from Yale, and a job as a Shakespeare professor, she tried again, with much greater success. In 2013 she won a RITA Award for Best Romance Novella. She teaches Shakespeare in the English department at Fordham University in New York. She is the mother of two children and, in a particularly delicious irony for a romance writer, is married to a genuine Italian knight.

About the Narrator

Susan Duerden is an actress and an Earphones Award–winning audiobook narrator. Her reading of The Tiger’s Wife by Téa Obreht earned her an AudioFile Best Voice Award and a Booklist Editors’ Choice Award. She has won ten AudioFile Earphones Awards. Here career spans film, television, theater, voice-overs, and animation. She has played critically acclaimed and award-winning theatrical roles on London’s West End and Off Broadway; acted in the features Lovewrecked and Flushed Away; and held a recurring role on ABC’s Lost.